Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Pulp reform: 5 great songs from Britpop's forgotten heroes

It probably won't have escaped your attention that Pulp have reformed to headline a handful of shows next summer, notably London's Wireless and Barcelona's Primavera Sound festivals.

Whilst their motives might have more to do with large lorries turning up at Jarvis and chums' houses stuffed with pristinely rolled 50 pound notes than personal reconcilliation or 'the music', it's still ruddy good news, especially for those of us unfortunate enough to miss them the first time round.

In honour of their return, here's a totally arbitrary list of the best Pulp songs from their 90s glory years:

Do You Remember the First Time?
Their first charting hit, 'Do You Remember' outlined the blueprint for Cocker's seedy kitchen-sink romanticism, juxtaposing himself as the forbidden bit on the side against his lover's safer (but far less exciting)  beau.

A grim exploration of the going-nowhere lives that Cocker had experienced himself whilst growing up in Sheffield, where the mordib cheap thrills of "smashing up someone's home" or "taking a girl to the reservoir" substituted for adolescent experience.

Common People
Perhaps their finest moment, this one scathingly targeted the 'class-tourism' which had become de rigueur in certain circles in the mid-90s. That it added an implausibly catchy pop hook to Cocker's seething social commentary certainly helped.

A personal favourite, this gloriously understated cut gave form to the band's recurring theme of sexual frustration with uncharacteristic tenderness. When Cocker sang "I couldn't stop it now", every teenage boy in the country took a sharp intake of breath in recognition of their own unrequited desires.

The Fear
When the Britpop cream curdled amidst a mire of cocaine and increasing critical rejection, Pulp turned dark. The opener from This Is Hardcore perfectly articulated the kind of twitching, paranoia-fuelled meltdown that many of the scene's leading lights had experienced by 1997.

1 comment:

dsn44 said...

cool list but what about 'lipgloss'?

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